If there’s a poster child for the quintessential tropical paradise, the Maldives has to be it. With its reputation for picture-perfect turquoise waters, heavenly soft sand beaches, and some of the most luxurious resorts in the world, does this even come as a surprise?
These factors combined with its sheer proximity to Singapore are the reasons we find ourselves coming back to the Maldives every time we’re in need of a beach vacation. However, with the myriad of luxury resorts sprouting up across the archipelago (never mind the fact that there are already over 120 existing resorts), it’s fair to say that the Maldives is no longer the untouched paradise it once was.
Thankfully, there are many other under-the-radar islands in the world that boast similar aquamarine waters and colourful coral reefs the Maldives is known for — which is a relief, especially with rumours that the latter is slowly sinking because of increasing sea levels.
So whether you want to explore new islands, get away from tourists, or simply enjoy a slice of paradise, check out these alternative beach destinations that may just be a better idea.
Mauritius, a gem in the Ocean Pacific, is flanked with sapphire-blue waters, white sand beaches and luxury resorts (such as The Oberoi Mauritius and Four Seasons Mauritius) that offer a front-row seat to some of the most beautiful views in the Indian Ocean.
While the Maldives is popular for its breathtaking beaches and clear waters, Mauritius is more known for its flora and fauna. The island boasts natural landscapes such as waterfalls, rivers, forests and mountains, perfect for the adventure seeker.
Made up of 333 tropical islands surrounded by sun-drenched beaches and turquoise lagoons in the heart of the South Pacific, Fiji is the perfect destination for ocean lovers. It boasts endless stretches of vibrant reefs and more than 1,500 species of fish and marine creatures — perfect for diving or snorkelling.
While Fiji as a destination is breathtaking, its unique culture and cuisine are what set it apart. Fijians are famous for their hospitality and warmth, which presents an amazing opportunity for visitors to befriend the locals and immerse themselves in the local way of life.
Bora Bora, Tahiti’s most famous group of islands, is known for its overwater bungalows set over translucent lagoons, sand-edged islets (called motu in the local language) and soaring basaltic peaks.
Bawah Reserve, previously known as Bawah Private Island, is a group of six forest-clad islands located in the Anambas Archipelago. While it is just a 80-minute seaplane ride from Batam International Airport, Bawah Reserve is a world away. Here, guests can indulge in a variety of activities, from kayaking and snorkelling adventures around lagoons to treks through the forest, hands-on cooking classes, gourmet suppers, alfresco dining on the beach, and unlimited spa treatments.
With clear turquoise lagoons, a diverse marine life, and lush jungles suitable for hiking, Bawah Reserve truly is paradise found. Take it from us, we’ve been there.
Nestled on the southern tip of the Bahamian Archipelago, the Turks and Caicos Islands elude most travellers’ radars. However, this sparsely populated string of islands boasts some of the most spectacular coral reefs, diverse sea creatures, and pristine beaches.
The beaches and marine environment of the islands are back to their former glory, with resorts and villas being restored after last year’s hurricanes Irma and Maria — so there really is no better time to visit.